Mediation is an effective process in which a neutral third party tries to help a divorcing couple come to consensus on their legal issues. Each party and their attorney are generally in one room and the spouse and the spouse’s attorney are in another room so that people can speak freely and confidentially if they choose. Parties who reach agreement are generally happier with the outcome than those who go to trial and have the outcome imposed upon them by a judge or jury. To have a productive and fair mediation, all assets should be disclosed long before mediation occurs. Having an attorney present ensures that a client’s needs and wants are heard and considered. Counsel can advise their client on the law and how their case would be handled if it were tried in open court. Attorneys can suggest different ways to resolve the issues and draft a Memorandum of Settlement or enforceable Settlement Agreement to be signed by both parties at the mediation.

Should I Try Mediation?

Most judges in the metro Atlanta counties of Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, and Forsyth require mediation before a case is tried. Mediation provides a Husband and Wife the opportunity to have input into the solutions of their case through compromise. In court, a judge decides the outcome after hearing testimony and evidence in a trial. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial. Both parties should be represented by counsel during mediation. It may take several mediation sessions to settle all issues between the parties. Marathon sessions are not recommended because fatigue can distort judgment.

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